The battery is the heart of every vehicle and even the slightest problems could spell eventual disaster. Most car batteries have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years. However, this can be shortened based on the driving habits of the car owner and other factors such as the terrain and climate. Knowing more about the way a car battery and electrical system function can help with predicting potential breakdowns and being prepared for it.
So how does a car battery work?
Batteries by their nature transform chemical energy to electrical energy. When the car is put into ignition, the battery sends a jolt of electricity to all the electrically powered components in the vehicle. Car batteries are therefore responsible for starting a vehicle by sending short bursts of energy that are required to power the ignition, engine, and lights.
Indicators that a car battery needs replacing
There are a number of indicators that can tell a car owner if their battery needs replacing. Some of them are as follows:
- Engine crank: When a car engine requires more than a few attempts to start, then it is safe to assume that the battery might need replacing.
- Fluid level: If the fluid level in the battery is below what is required, the car owner is more than likely to face trouble with the car. If it is possible to examine the fluid levels in the battery, a decision about replacement or repair can be made a lot quicker. When the fluid levels in the battery dip below the lead plates, the car battery and charging system should be examined since a drop in the fluid levels is a direct result of the battery overheating.
- Check engine light: In a few cases, a flashing check engine light could be a sign that the battery is running low and needs to be examined.
- Foul smell: When a car battery leaks, there is often a foul odor that comes from the area around the car battery. This is because of the sulphuric acid from the battery. Battery leaks should be taken care of as soon as possible since the battery fluid can corrode the posts of the battery.
- Bloated battery case: A bloated battery case is a good indicator that a car battery needs replacing. The bloating is often caused by overheating and is a major cause for decreasing the life of a car battery.
- Age of the battery: As stated earlier, car batteries have a life of anywhere between 3 to 5 years, depending on how well they are maintained. Even if the car has been well-kept, car owners should ideally have their battery examined once it crosses the 3-year mark.
The symptoms mentioned above are a good indicator that it might be time to consider getting a new car battery. The condition of a car battery has a direct impact on the performance of a car. Car owners looking to make the most out of their cars should make sure that all the car’s vital parts including the car battery are examined and repaired on a regular basis.